Monday, June 25, 2018

Morimoto Asia Waikiki

Chef Morimoto's restaurant is back in Waikiki. The menu here offers more Asian dishes.  The food is more on the spicy side. The prices are reasonable and the portions are big so you can do family-style dining. Some of my favorites were the beef carpaccio, roast duck, black pepper steak, chocolate sphere and sticky rice with mango. I highly recommend the chocolate sphere because it gets lit on fire at your table.

They are located inside the Alohilani Resort on the 2nd floor facing Waikiki Beach. The restaurant is big and spacious. If you get the exterior seating, you'll get a view of Waikiki beach and the sunset which having dinner. I recommend making reservations in advance. For parking, use the valet service at Alohilani Resort. It's a shorter walk and it's complimentary with validation. 

For more information about Morimoto Asia Waikiki, visit morimotoasiawaikiki.com.

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
2490 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 922-0022

Beef Carpaccio

Tuna Pizza

Crab Rangoon Sticks

Ga Prao Rice

Chef Morimoto Special Roast Duck

Black Pepper Steak

Chocolate Sphere

Sticky Rice

Banana Pudding

Doughnuts

Almond Pudding

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Surfing Pig

The Surfing Pig is located in Kaimuki in the former space of SALT. They only open for dinner but they have a full bar. The porchetta is high recommended; they have an option of ordering this as a side. Their space is small so reservations are recommended. The service is good and their prices are reasonable for the amount of food you get. It's best to go with a group for 4 so you can try a little bit of everything on their menu.

For more information about The Surfing Pig, visit thesurfingpig.co.

3605 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816
(808) 744-1992

Ahi Poke

Farro Salad

Mushroom Medley

Tenderloin Medallions

Smokey Cheesy Mac w/ Porchetta

Stuffed French Toast

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Tim Ho Wan

Tim Ho Wan is the newest dim sum spot in Waikiki. They originated from Hong Kong and this is their first Hawaii location. The baked BBQ pork bun is their signature item. Other items I enjoyed were the congee, siu mai, and fried silky milk sticks. The dishes range from $5 to $7. They only offer dim sum but it is served all day and night. The full menu is not available yet. Since they are new, the service is lacking so be patient. The restaurant itself is clean and brightly lit. I also like that they use better quality ingredients compared to what you'd get in Chinatown and Culture Plaza.

The wait is about 90 minutes if you come during peak times. They don't accept reservations. There is indoor and outdoor seating. I recommend the outdoor seating because it's less noisy but you don't get to choose because they're so busy. They'll validate parking (1 hour) if you park in the Royal Hawaiian Center parking garage.

Royal Hawaiian Center
2233 Kalakaua Ave, Level 3
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 888-6088

Baked BBQ Pork Buns

Congee w/ Pork and Preserved Egg

Steamed Rice w/ Pork Spareribs & Chicken Feet

Steamed Rice w/ Chicken

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)

Steamed Beef Balls

Steamed Pork Dumplings w/ Shrimp (Sui Mai)

Steamed Malaysian Cake

Fried Silky Milk Sticks

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Herringbone Waikiki

Herringbone has a weekend brunch that offers endless rosé and bottomless mimosas. They're known for seafood, but they have other items which are also good. I enjoyed the Ray Ray Fries and the bacon. The Ray Ray Fries are not on the menu and it's a special created by Chef Ray; I recommend those over the regular fries because the toppings give it some extra flavor.

The restaurant has interior and exterior seating. The exterior seating is nice because of the lush greenery and I prefer that over the interior. The interior seating can get a little noisy but if you happen to get a table next to the kitchen, it's interesting to wait the food get prepared and plated. The prices are reasonable and the portions are good for sharing. If you plan to dine here, reservations are recommended.

For more information about Herringbone Waikiki, visit herringboneeats.com/locations/waikiki

International Market Place
2330 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 797-2435

Ray Ray Pancakes

California Burrito

Bacon

Ray Ray Fries

Friday, March 23, 2018

Panda Dim Sum

Panda Dim Sum is known for their animal and character steamed buns. They are located inside the Chinatown Market Place at City Square Shopping Center in Dillingham. The animals/characters are different every day and I recommend going before 10am for the best selection. You can buy the buns as is or have them steamed and ready to eat right there; it takes about 10 minutes to steam. All the fillings inside the buns are sweet; they have custard, red bean paste, sweet potato paste, lotus paste, and chestnut paste. The fillings aren't overly sweet, and the buns are moist and soft. They are 2 for $3.50. If you're not interested in the steam buns, they have other dim sum items like white rice cake, jin dui, and mochi rice. This might be a cash only place since they're a tiny shop. 

Chinatown Market Place
1199 Dillingham Blvd
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 429-2018

Panda Buns

Piggy Buns

Minion Buns

Angry Bird & Doraemon Buns

Friday, March 9, 2018

Opal Thai

Opal Thai has moved to Chinatown; they used to be in Haleiwa. At Opal Thai, there is a menu, but you don't get to order off of it when you dine in. The chef goes to your table, greets you, learns a little about you and your group and then finds out what you like/dislike to eat, spice level, and your allergies. He then creates a bunch of dishes for your table. Throughout the meal, the wait staff and chef will check in to make sure everything is going well, and the food is tasting good. They don't tell you what you're eating until the end of the meal. My favorite was the crab noodles. It was like eating pad thai but better because the noodles were thinner and there was less sauce. I recommend coming with people who are open to trying new things and are not picky eaters. For 2 appetizers and 2 entrees, my share came out to be $25 (gratuity not included) which is reasonable. I left full, but my mouth was slightly on fire. Overall, I enjoyed it and I would go back for more.

They are open for lunch and dinner. I recommend making reservations a few days in advance because it gets busy. They have take-out if you want to order straight from the menu and skip out on this dining experience. For parking, there is metered street parking (free after 6pm) and the parking garage in Marin Tower.

For more information about Opal Thai, visit opalthai.com.

1030 Smith St., Ste 6
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 381-8091

Spicy Glazed Garlic Chicken Wings

Special Rice Cake (half order)

Crab Noodles

Basil Chili Garlic Chicken w/ Jasmine Rice & Fried Egg

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Nana's Green Tea

Nana's Green Tea is known for their green tea soft serve. They have a big menu with a lot of options, but I recommend the standard green tea ice cream inside a cone. The parfaits look amazing but it was hard to eat, and I thought it needed to be sweeter. It's layered with coffee jelly, corn flakes, mochi balls, azuki paste, and soft serve. The desserts go from $6 to $11 and the drinks are from $5 to $7. The parfaits are big enough to share with 2 people. 

They are located in the Waikiki Yokocho Gourmet Alley which is on the basement level of the Waikiki Shopping Plaza. They do offer parking but I'm not sure where the parking garage is. Whenever I'm in Waikiki, I either park at Royal Hawaiian Center or International Marketplace because I get validation from making a purchase from one of those businesses.

Waikiki Shopping Plaza
2250 Kalakaua Ave
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 777-3550

Matcha Vanilla Swirl Ice cream

Hoji Shiratama Parfait

Soft Cream Anmitsu

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

O'Kims

O'Kim's is a hidden gem in Chinatown. It's a tiny shop that serves up delicious Korean take out. The food is good and the monthly specials keep me coming back for more. My favorites are the kalbi steak and seaweed salmon. The prices range from $12 - $15 but they give a good amount of food. They are open for lunch and dinner.

For parking, there's metered street parking or the Chinatown municipal parking lots. As I mentioned before, it is a tiny shop so there's nowhere to sit and eat. They accept phone orders so you could order in advance and pull over on the side to pick up your food. They accept credit cards.

For more information about O'Kims, visit okimshawaii.com.

1164 Smith St
Honolulu, HI 96817
(808) 537-3787

Kalbi Steak

Confit Pork Belly Brulee

Seaweed Salmon

Spicy Tofu & Mushrooms

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Katsumidori Sushi

Katsumidori is a Japanese restaurant that offers reasonably priced sushi. They are generous with the cuts of fish in the nigiri. The interior is spacious and well designed. There is a sushi bar on 1 side and regular tables on the other side. Their menu has pictures so ordering is easy. If you sit at the table, you can order through the tablet or with the waiter. My favorites were the Yokozuna because you get an assortment of sushi and the assorted seared sushi.

The restaurant is located inside the Prince Waikiki on the ground floor. They are open for lunch and dinner. I recommend making reservations in advance because they are busy. You can get validation if you park in the Prince Waikiki parking garage; it's $4.

Prince Waikiki
100 Holomoana St
Honolulu, HI 96815
(808) 946-7603

Tamago Nigiri & Salmon Nigiri

Scallop Carpaccio

Yokozuna

Avocado Tempura

Assorted Seared Sushi